Divine Purpose Calling (and listening to yours)

There are ideas that come to mind that sound exciting and fun.  Things to try, to become, to do.  Most ideas are fleeting (like my wanting to become a chef), but sometimes an idea comes and puts down its coffee, puts up its feet, and stays.  It may have always been there.  It just doesn’t go away.  That is divine purpose.

I came across a project I did when I was about six or seven years old.  I wrote that I was going to be a teacher.  I stayed in for recess in first grade to tutor reading.  I lined my dolls up for school and took class pictures of them as I got older with my first camera with the 110 film.  I shifted between wanting to be a nurse or a teacher all through high school.  I accepted a modeling contract and started a family instead.  Then a dance company.  Then I became an herbalist, which richly satisfied my love of things holistically medical and healing.  And here I am.

I went to school when I was thirty.  I was going to be a teacher (after I got the crazy idea of being a music pastor out of my head).  Then I had to leave school to get a job and continue raising my kids.  I signed up again a few years later and dropped it before I could start.  Again a few years later.  Again a few months ago.  I get into my head the “what if’s.”  You know these?  What if I can’t even keep a job?  What if I won’t like it?  What if I will be too old?  What if I am not smart enough?  What if I don’t get as much time with my granddaughters?  What if it bankrupts me?  The what if’s get more preposterous as they go.  (“But you do teach,” people remind me.  I want to teach in a college setting though.)

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We all have a divine purpose.  In the book, Awaken the Spirit Within by Rebecca Rosen, the author describes our divine purpose as being an extension of God.  To show that infinite, beautiful love and care upon everyone placed in our path and to master the lessons we came here to learn.  Some paths or careers will place us in a way that we can do that better.  For me, I have a great love of late teen, early twenties aged young people.  I love their spirits, their ideas, their newness.  At my granddaughter’s birthday party, there were probably twenty or more of this age group and I always (and am often called Mama) feel like a mother hen to them.  I love them.

I recall well the teachers I have had over my life who for one reason or another did not like me.  They were horrible and did everything they could to sabotage me.  I also remember each person that took time out of their life to help mentor me or to encourage me.  That is the person I want to be in other’s lives.  That is what I can really excel at.  That is my divine purpose.  To be able to see the best in students (especially those brave enough to go to college to pursue a dream), to be able to help instill confidence and encourage them sets them up to succeed and therefore fulfill their divine purpose better.

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Last year and the beginning of this year were tough emotionally because I have been holding onto the past.  I had become very angry that so many out of state and city people had moved into my beautiful small town- the only place I have ever felt like was home- and drove up the prices so high that many locals were forced to leave.  I go visit my daughter and- I kid you not- get about run off the road by an Audi or BMW every dang time.  I miss the slow trucks of ranchers.  I miss the scenic vistas pre mini-mansion.  I miss my town.  I have been bitter that I don’t have a business with my daughter anymore.  I loved being with her.  I loved having a shop with her.  I loved being a full time herbalist.  But, things change.

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Just as my front yard was rearranged yesterday with sixty plus mile an hour winds, my life is being rearranged.  And that is okay!  I asked myself, “Well, do you want to move back to Elizabeth?”  If that is really what I want to do, I can.  I answered myself sheepishly, “Well, no.  I love the climate here, and the people, and my house and my low mortgage payment.”  (Sometimes you have give yourself a talkin’ to.)  Do I want to start up an apothecary with Shyanne again?  I am exhausted thinking about it.  I see her every few weeks or so.  It’s not like I lost my child.  And this big beautiful future looms ahead, nudging me towards the next divine step.  I can be an herbalist, I can be a mother, I can be anything.  So, I signed up for school to be a teacher.  Now, y’all keep me accountable and don’t let me chicken out again!  I just know (hope) that I will be teaching college (in New Mexico) one day.

What ideas never leave you?  What is Spirit nudging you towards?  What do you need to release in order to move forward?  What is your dream?

 

 

IKIGAI; What is Your Purpose?

I read the most beautiful book this week.  It has helped me get my groove back.

I had decided last year as my business was failing that I would go back to school to be a chef (but it is hard to be a chef when you don’t use animal products and the busy catering description gave me anxiety).  So then I thought teaching.  I love teaching!  “What would you teach?” everyone asked.  Oh…anything.  Then I got the bill for the first semester and promptly dropped all classes.  I would be retired before I could pay off that degree.  I look around and I love and am fascinated by so much.  My friend is a surgical tech.  That sounds cool!  My friends are nurses.  I was a candy striper in high school.  I wanted to be a nurse.  I could maybe work somewhere or do something.  Anything.  But, I know my pattern.  I go get a job, become overwhelmed, am shocked at the measly paycheck, am behind on dishes for weeks, and then quit.  I am better at being an entrepreneur.  But that failed.  Again.  Last year.  And that is when I went off kilter.  I lost my purpose.  I was no longer a full time herbalist.  No longer a shop keeper.  No longer healing baby calves around the county that were sick because they just got picked up from auction.  Heck, I am not even in the country anymore.

And then my beloved aunt and grandma passed away, I became sick, I think my dear friend, Steve, in California killed himself, and I have been listless and depressed.  Which is not like me.  And something had to give.

It is amazing how a book can change your life.  So many books, so much literature, has changed my life.  And this week, this book, I am so grateful for.  I realized that everything I feel is stemmed from my losing my purpose.

IKIGAI; the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles is a beautifully written and researched tome.  The authors delve into the science and stories behind longevity and happiness, primarily in Japan, where the most super centenarians reside (over 100 years old).  What do they do?  What do they eat?  What are their days like?  I adore research and am very interested in the longevity studies and other cultures.  They touch on diet (tons of fresh vegetables, soy, and fish), social networks (lots of valued friends, social get-togethers, small amount of alcohol daily), spiritual health (honoring all of the spirits and their ancestors), and exercise (they move, not more strenuously, but all the time, biking and walking everywhere).  But the main thing that keeps these folks so alive and well is purpose.  Their IKIGAI.  If they know what that is, they have reason to get up every morning.

What is it that makes you spring out of bed in the morning?  What would you do even without pay?  What is your passion?  What could you talk about without hesitation?  What do you do naturally?  My aunt gave me this picture for Christmas.  I guess she knew.

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I am a writer.  I never have to think about writing this blog.  In fact, it bothers me to take days off but I want to make sure y’all can catch up!  I love writing; books, poetry, articles, snippets of thoughts…I am a writer.  It is my IKIGAI.  I get a modest payment every month from Amazon and the local museum that carries my books.  It won’t support us, but that doesn’t matter.  I am also a gardener, a farmer, a lover of animals.  I need a greenhouse.  I need to be around plants, and I need to grow my own food, and I need to be around animals.  Sanctuary.

After reading this lovely little book I realized that I do not need to have any new degrees, careers, or paths.   I am on it.  If I write every day.  If I take care of my chickens.  If I get into the garden.  I will be okay.  That is my IKIGAI.  And with that knowledge, I am free.  I have purpose.  What is your IKIGAI?

Read it!  It is a lovely book.